Tuesday 12 July 2011

Rhubarb Toffee Crunch Ice Cream

Have any of you been watching Masterchef or Top Chef? Hubs and I are serious addicts of these shows. Top Chef Canada just ended and hubby was ticked off for two days over the winner,
much to my great amusement.

It must have been after one of these shows, where in that half asleep/half awake state, the idea of creating some sort of rhubarby/vanilla ice cream popped into my head. 
Amazingly, I still remembered the idea the next morning! So here it is peoples!  

If nothing else, at least I think it looks pretty good.
Now I wish I could say I just whipped this all up by myself without any reference to any kind of cookbook or recipe, but no...I'm definitely not THAT good! I did look up a few different recipes and adapted all of them to work into something that I thought would hopefully be yummy.

First, I chopped up three cups of fresh rhubarb.
Does the word rhubarb make your mouth go all watery too?!

I threw it into a saucepan and added about 2/3 cup of sugar, 1 Tbsp. of water and 2 Tbsp. of a good balsamic vinegar. It sounds weird, I know, but trust me...it adds a nice twist without being overpowering.
I cooked that down over medium-low heat until it reached a nice compote consistency. Okay I have to stop the whole "I" thing now...I, I, I, I, me, me, me, blah, blah, blah...
I'm just going to pretend you're trying this out and I'm telling you how to do it..mkay?
Chill the compote until you're ready to use it.

Now it's time to start the ice cream! I don't have an ice cream maker (hint, hint, Honey...my birthday's coming up!), so I use my food processor. It works great, but it does take longer...just sayin.
Anyhow, pour 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream (oh yah, baby!) into a sauce pan, split open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.

Put the seeds in with the cream and add the pod too. If you don't have a vanilla bean or don't want to pay the price for one, I'm sure a good quality liquid vanilla would taste super yummy too.
Now bring the cream and vanilla almost to a boil, then shut it off and let it sit for half an hour or so to get really good and vanilla-y.
Then, mix four large egg yolks and about 1/2 cup of sugar together. Whisk it together really well.
Take the vanilla bean out of the cream, and strain the liquid through a sieve. Then stirring the eggs the whole time, slowly add the cream.

Here's where you get to use a fancy dancy double boiler, if you have one. Or a non-fancy dancy homemade double boiler, like me. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring lots, until the mixture thickens. Don't let it come to a boil. Those egg yolks are so dang finicky! Once it's thickened up, take it off the heat and let it cool. I left mine in the fridge for a couple hours, but mostly because I'm easily distracted by shiny things and probably forgot.

Once it's cooled off enough - or you remember it again - whichever comes first, pour it into a freezer friendly container and put it into the freezer until the edges start to set up. Probably about an hour or so.
At that point, scoop it out and put into your food processor. Whirl it around until it's good and creamy again and then repeat the whole process.

I usually "whirl" it (what's that called?) about three times, but I let it freeze up solid before the third time. Doesn't that look so yummy? It was. I probably ate half of it just by licking off the spatula in between "whirlings".

Now. Before your last whirl, throw together some toffee or streusel. When I was making it, I intended to make streusel, but then I got all I-don't-need-to-measure on myself and used way more butter that I should have and that's how I ended up with more of a toffee instead of streusel. Either way...it's really good.
Mix together 1/4 cup of flour - you can use whole wheat if you're starting to feel guilty about all the other unhealthy stuff...but then why bother now?...1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 3 Tbsp. of cold butter for streusel or about 5 Tbsp. for toffee. Mix up the dry stuff and cut in the butter. Or mush it all together with your fingers...it's easier. Line a pie plate or cake plate with tin foil and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 F.

This is how mine turned out. Let it cool and then crumble up for big chunks
or chop it up with a knife for finer pieces.

As you can see, I crumbled it. But I think I would have liked it better if I'd chopped it.
Anyhow, now do your last whirling of the ice cream. Spread half of it into a freezable container, top with a nice layer of compote and sprinkle some streusel/toffee on top. Repeat the layers again. You might have to pop it into the freezer for a few minutes if things start getting too melty on you before adding another layer.
Once you're done layering, freeze it up good and solid.
Then...scoop...plate...and enjoy.
Yum, yum, yum!!

Sunny weather and a bistro table for two pair wonderfully with it.

I made hubby do the taste test together with me and he had a great time pretending
 he was a Top Chef judge and critiquing it. According to him, it passed with flying colors.
And he's picky. 

Here's the full recipe if you want to try it!

3 cups chopped, fresh rhubarb
1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup sugar

Ice Cream:
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

Crunchy topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 or 5 Tbsp. cold butter


Linking up to Wow Us Wednesday at Saavy Southern Style
Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Everything but the Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack
Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum


  1. Is there a risk of salmonella when you use eggs that are uncooked? We put eggs in our ice cream in Africa, but then they were free range. The lady I lived with told me never to do that in Canada... you know who this is.

  2. Hi there! You were my "next door neighbor" at Kim's party and not only does this recipe sound amazing but I LOVE the name of your blog! I sing that song to my daughter every night. :-) I can't wait to go check out your other posts!

  3. Hi Vanessa and thanks! Looking forward to checking out your post too! :)

    "Anonymous" - lol, yes I know who you are! There shouldn't be any risk of salmonella b/c you cook the custard before freezing it. It takes quite a while for the custard to thicken up so the eggs are well cooked by then. :)

  4. First, I love the name of your blog! Excellent! Your step-by-step photography is cookbook worthy. I'm your newest follower; found you via Kim.

  5. Wow, what a compliment! Thank you! And welcome!! :)

  6. I must admit that at first blush this didn't sound good to me but you pulled it off beautifully! Great job! Thank you for linking to Handy Man, Crafty Woman Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  7. So gald we are here to taste this creation!!! I't delicious!!! Can we make some more!?

  8. Oh yum, this looks so good. You did a fantastic job with this. I would have lost patience a long, long time ago...wait, I just remembered I have ice cream in my freezer! Not as yummy as this, but it will have to do. Sigh. Great job!

  9. Looks pretty tasty to me.


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